Drone Bridge Inspection Services
Bearing Pads | Deck Delaminations | RGB Imaging | Infrared Imaging
Performing UAV Bridge Inspections Safer, Faster and More Cost Effectively
Many state DOT’s and regulatory agencies are exploring the practicality of utilizing drone technology in different ways. When it comes to inspecting bridge structures and roadways, the use of drones can prove to be invaluable for understanding the condition of some specific components.
Current inspection standards vary based on the portions of the structure that need to be studied. When it comes to more difficult aspects of bridges and roads to inspect, such as identifying delaminations in bridge decks or studying bearing pad conditions, the use of a drone can save thousands of dollars and days of time.
How Drones Are Benefitting the Bridge Inspections Process
– Reduce the amount of time and money spent on road closures
– Faster and more flexible scheduling compared to Snooper trucks.
– Detailed documentation allows for review and analysis both in the field and from the office.
– Affordably assess conditions
– Share the detailed information with your team making repairs so they know what to expect before getting hands-on
If you are interested in learning more about how drones can benefit the bridge and road inspection process, give us a call!
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Bearing Pad Inspections
We are often involved with helping to inspect portions of bridge structures that are difficult to inspect or study from the ground. We often deploy drones with lights and visible imagers to inspect bearing pad conditions. Rather than waiting months to schedule costly snooper trucks, we can quickly deploy our team on a schedule that works for you. Not just that, but our field efficiency is 50% faster meaning substantial cost savings by scheduling fewer lane closures. You can easily take the detailed images to understand where possible issues exist to base a physical inspection and repair schedule on.
Road and Bridge Deck Delamination Inspections
Traditional practices for mapping out delaminations in road and bridge structures are done by a process called chain dragging. Our process is unique as we strive to provide you with a faster, more useful deliverable that provides a good visual representation of where concerns are present. By deploying drones with thermal imagers, we can study the temperature data to identify the voids and pinpoint exactly where further physical testing is required to validate our observations. This process allows for minimal lane closure times and encourages a safer work environment while providing a good visual representation of conditions.
We utilize the best resolution available in drone thermal imaging to ensure the end deliverable is useful. We are capable of stitching together hundreds of images to process one large map of the bridge to help make it easy to identify and map out the location of the delaminations. Our processes are legal and approved by DOT’s when required.
Regulations today require routine inspection of bridge structures for a good reason, they are complex structures that require routine observation and maintenance to ensure public safety. Most inspection practices involve a ground-based visual assessment. While these inspection processes are crucial and highly informative, there are some aspects of the bridge that can be difficult to inspect from the ground. We work directly with the few entities that own roadways in the United States and partner with engineering firms to perform bridge inspection observing portions of the structure, such as bearing pads, that would otherwise be challenging to inspect without the use of a sniffer truck.
Deploying drone technology for various applications is our specialty and this resource happens to be a great fit if the process is implemented with the right team. Our drone fleet, consisting of DJI Matrice 210s and Mavic 2 Pro’s, is capable of inspecting tight spaces beneath the deck, looking straight up at the structure while flying from below, and our zoom capable cameras help us keep a safe distance from the bridge while allowing for detailed review and documentation. Our service is best deployed on high bridge structures, bridges over waterways, and high traffic. While it may not be required to specifically inspect portions of the structure, such as bearing pads, it is wise to inspect them regularly to ensure they are sound.
Our process is refined to safely, efficiently, and cost-effectively gather field documentation of structural conditions and process engineer reports reviewing observations, making recommendations on repairs accordingly. Our team is experienced to handle difficult drone operations safely and our engineers have decades of experience in studying bridge conditions.
In our inspection process, we video the entire inspection to ensure we don’t miss everything and provide evidence of our observations. In addition to reviewing everything in the field, we can watch every second of the inspection in the office. We strive to observe shifted or displaced bearing pads, moisture intrusion, stress cracks or hairline fractures, corrosion, and other structural damage that affects the structural integrity of the bridge. Bridges can see a lot of expansion and contraction between the different seasons. This movement in the structure causes the bearing pad to have to shift and flex with the structure. If there is too much movement over time, that bearing pad can shift or become displaced, eventually causing the deck to drop in its place leaving the deck slanted.